Sunderland owner and chairman Ellis Short has praised manager Martin O'Neill for bringing top-six form to the club.

Short dispensed with the services of Steve Bruce and installed O'Neill in December with the Black Cats flirting with relegation. However, since watching from the stands as his side lost 2-1 at Wolves on December 4, O'Neill's men have taken 31 Barclays Premier League points from a possible 57 to ease themselves into the comfort of mid-table.

Writing in his programme notes, Short said: "Looking at a league table based on results since Martin took over, we would be in joint-fifth position with Everton, who have played a game more than us in that period."

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